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demonstrasi bantah PPSMI

The English debate is raging again in Malaysia - in all the country's languages. Six years after Malaysian schools first began using English exclusively to teach maths and science, some race-based interest groups are demanding a return to the old ways. The policy, referred to as PPSMI, was introduced by former premier Mahathir Mohamad in 2003 to arrest the decline in English standards, but many objected vehemently from the start. Before 2003, the two subjects had been taught in Malay in national schools, and in Chinese and Tamil in vernacular schools.

The issue is being revisited following the roundtable talks held by the Education Ministry on it last year, from July to December. Some groups said PPSMI erodes their respective languages and cultures. And politicians fear that if they support it, they will lose the support of the many rural Malaysians who say their children cannot cope with English. On Monday, the five states under opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat united against the policy. PPSMI had dealt a blow to the "sanctity of Malay", its executive council members in charge of education said.

On the same day, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim spoke out against the policy on his blog. The importance given to English showed that "after half-a-century of independence, the narrow-minded colonial mentality still haunts us", he wrote. Barisan Nasional member parties - such as the Malaysian Chinese Association, Gerakan and the Malaysian Indian Congress - have also been calling for a return to the mother tongue. Joining them are groups such as Chinese educationists Dong Jiao Zong (DJZ) and the Federation of Malay Writers Associations (Gapena).

On Feb 15, Gapena plans to organise a protest in KL dubbed the 152 Rally after Article 152 of the federal constitution, which holds that Malay is the official language. Eight Chinese associations, including DJZ, have urged the government to abolish the policy. Otherwise, they say they will take part in protests held by the Malay organisations.

Community opponents of the policy have been waiting for this day. It was pushed through over their objections, with the government insisting that dissenters wait for the first batch of primary school pupils to finish six years of studies under this system before passing judgment. Last year, the six years were up. In December, the keenly awaited results of the UPSR - the equivalent of Singapore"s PSLE - were announced.


cikgu zizaw said...

assalamualaikum saudara faiz..
ni aku cikgu Zizaw...

sebagai seorang guru skg.. aku bersetuju membantah pgunaan bahasa inggeris dalam p&p di mansuhkan.. bkn pa.. ia boleh mjejaskan pgunaan bahasa melayu.. aiyoooo.. kenapa d waktu zaman pjajahan british tidak dilaksanakan penggunaannya?.. tak la juga isu mcm ni timbul bkn?...

apa2 pn.. slamat bjuang saudara faiz...

n selamat pengatin baru di bln enam ni.. adios bebey.. kim salam ngan mamat

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